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Showing posts from July, 2016

The "Big Goals" Sessions

During my 2 year long Teach For India fellowship, I designed and delivered 2 interesting courses. The first one was centered around "self" and the other was to do with "technology". Like everything else at TFI, these courses took root when I asked myself certain questions. These courses were my answers to these questions. The "Big Goals" course was the one centered on self where I tried to come up with a better question that "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I have often wondered why do we ask little kids what they want to be when they grow up. Little kids keep changing their minds all the time - astronaut, scientist, footballer, dancer, teacher etc. And older kids set them up for disappointment if they fixate on one thing and aren't able to achieve it later on in life - think IIT and MBA aspirants, competitive exams, pressure of studies and in some cases even suicide. There was something amiss in

What I learnt from George Joseph's "Feature Article" on TFI and Apoorv Shah's response to it

When I was in school, I was never told the difference between a 'feature article' and a 'news story'. It's only today that I cared enough to understand the difference between the two. The purpose of a 'news story' is to relay  only the facts  about a particular incident through a particular style of writing. An author may paraphrase some lines from interviews that s/he conducts with people without changing the meaning. It seems to me that the author must practice  Epistemic Responsibility  while writing such an article - suspending all personal opinions and judgement for the purpose of the story. On the other hand, the purpose of a 'feature article' is to bring out the  human experience  from a particular angle chosen by the author. The author is free to forgo his/her epistemic responsibility. In fact, while reading a feature article, a reader expects to glean an insight via the author's point of view, his beliefs and judgement about th